We sincerely wish for our readers the happiest of all Happy New Years. Spiritual happiness is the true abiding happiness. This happiness comes from knowing the Word of God and doing the Word of God. “Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only.” Hear these words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ: “IF YE KNOW THESE THINGS, HAPPY ARE YE IF YE DO THEM.” John. 13:17.
Unless we earnestly, diligently, prayerfully, systematically, and spiritually study the Word of God, we shall not know the Word of God. Moreover, if we would so know the Word of God as to get from its study the greatest enjoyment, profit and blessing, by intelligently appropriating, interpreting and applying it, we must obey II Timothy 2:15 and rightly divide. the Word.
We are members of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. The words which were spoken by prophets, priests, kings and apostles to God’s redeemed people, who were not members of the Body of Christ, were for their obedience, practice and guidance. “God spake all these words”, so they were just as much inspired as is the truth that is addressed directly to us. But let us not misappropriate, or misapply, God’s instructions to Israel, not written to members of Christ’s Body. All Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.
We are sure that the “Red Letter New Testament” was never printed by the Spirit’s leading. God who spake in divers manners to the fathers, did speak in His Son. Hearing such words from the holy Son of God, His disciples could but wonder at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth; for He spake as never man spake. But every intelligent student of the Word knows that very much of what Jesus of Nazareth spoke on earth was directly to, and exclusively for, Israel. Many of His messages were not addressed to the Body of Christ, nor to individual members of that Body. Christ never intended that the religious program that He presented to Israel should be adopted and practiced by the Church which is His Body. Neither did He intend that all of His commission, given to the Twelve Apostles, should be binding upon the members of His Body.
Some time ago an unsaved man, who had read the Four Gospels quite thoroughly, said to me: “if a Christian today is one who obeys the commands that Jesus Christ gave to His Twelve Apostles, I have never seen a Christian.” Have you? Perhaps you will never appreciate the folly of the “anti-dispensationalists” until you take a pencil and go carefully, verse by verse, through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the Book of Acts, and mark in those five Books all of the instructions and commands of the Lord Jesus that are wholly ignored by all Christians today. Not even an attempt is made by the Lord’s true, spiritual messengers of grace today, to obey or practice them. Why? That’s the question. Why? If the answer is one acceptable to God, it must be, “not intended for this Divine period of special Gentile favor.” There should be a Scriptural explanation for a Scriptural elimination.
All Christians either assent to the fact that many of the Words of Jesus and His Twelve were not intended for members of the Body of Christ, or they are wilfully negligent and disobedient. They prefer to keep silent as to why they have no place in their spiritual program whatever for fifty or more of the commands, practices, messages, signs and works of the disciples in the Four Gospels and Acts. But their silence breaks forth into loud and vigorous protests when a servant of the Lord offers the one and only Divine rule in defense of all Christians who omit from their Church creeds and their spiritual program so much that rightfully belonged to God’s people in a former dispensation.
Just what dispensation is this? And where in the Bible is this present dispensation described? Where is God’s spiritual program for members of the Body of Christ during this dispensation? These are most important questions that we are endeavoring to answer in this magazine.
We want to practice what is, with many of our Fundamentalists, more than a theory. They are sure that they are “grace” preachers, but their programs are really a mixture of grace and …..
Surely we shall find in Christ’s revelations to the Apostle Paul, the Scriptural “dispensational” key to the intelligent, spiritual understanding, interpretation and application of all of the truth of all of the Bible. If we thus know the things of Christ, happy will we be if we do them. In no other way can we be of power and of love and of a sound mind in rightly dividing the Word of truth, and thus walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called and walk well pleasing to the Lord.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.